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06-29-2013, 11:30 AM
Hi everyone. I am a fifth kyu somewhat yellow under the gills belt.

My grandparents spent some time in the Apartheid prison system, and for that reason they are on the ex-prime minster's side. He is an old man now, and I think that he is dying. Surely the haters should just let him be? But that being said I have heard him called a terrorist, largely for crimes his ex-wife Winnie committed when he was still locked up. Can i gauge the general opinion over on aiki-web for someone to this day and age, remains one of my heroes of all time!


Dave de Vos
06-30-2013, 03:32 AM
I wasn't even aware there were Nelson Mandela haters.
As far as I know, Nelson Mandela is greatly respected and admired internationally for his non-violent opposition to Apartheid (a Dutch word, to our embarrasment).

Lorien Lowe
06-30-2013, 01:27 PM
Having read a Mandela autobiography some years ago, I think it's possible that he was a 'terrorist' in the material sense; he doesn't come right out and say it, but it certainly seems that he participated in sabotage at a minimum. He also gives a great deal of credit for the ending of the apartheid movement to his fellows-in-struggle, people who, from the outside, seem to have been largely forgotten as Mandela takes on a larger and larger figure. He's not a saint, and he's not the *only* saint - and he does not, himself, claim to be. That doesn't preclude him from being a very great man.

06-30-2013, 04:37 PM
I'd call him a saint.

Understand, contrary to the modern misunderstanding, any saint comes with his baggage of sin. They aren't saints because they are sinless; they are saints because despite their sin they manifested God's grace on this earth.

Moving away from the religious language, whatever Mandela's past, he transcended the violence done to him to create the possibility, against all odds, of a viable future for his country.

Saints are made by God and only recognized by his church. When Mandela goes I'll light a candle for him. I doubt God will begrudge it.

07-01-2013, 07:14 AM
Various apartheid laws criminalized acts that most of us would consider basic civil rights, and defined as "terrorism" actions that were merely participation in the political process (see http://africanhistory.about.com/cs/apartheidlaws/g/No83of67.htm). Technically, I suppose, Nelson Mandela is a "terrorist". I'd like to think that if I had been in South Africa at the time, I'd have been a "terrorist" too.

07-01-2013, 11:24 AM
... I have heard him called a terrorist, largely for crimes his ex-wife Winnie committed when he was still locked up.

Perhaps related to this: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Winnie_Mandela_necklace

Demetrio Cereijo
07-01-2013, 11:43 AM
Nelson Mandela`s statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial


07-27-2013, 09:17 AM
Thanks guys. (And gals). Thanks for the positive outcomes. I guess that I am so used to being 'trolled' at yahoo message boards/bullshido etc. that I had forgotten what it was like to discuss with rational adults. No I never considered him a terrorist. I'm not sure if i would post him up there with the saints, but a nobel peace award laureate i am sure!

Keith Larman
07-27-2013, 12:56 PM
I"m on vacation and feeling rather mellow so I realize I likely won't see replies to this for a while, so here goes... Not referring to Mandela specifically here, but I once had a philosophy professor define a terrorist as someone you didn't agree with while a freedom fighter is someone you do agree with. Of course this is a somewhat cynical and completely simplistic sort of statement, but there is a grain of truth underlying much of the comment. It isn't quite so cut and dried as most would like it to be and while the extreme positions are clearly indefensible, there is a lot of loaded material here.

In case anyone is interested in more scholarly approaches and attempts to frame the question more clearly and with some degree of intellectual and ethical rigor, might I suggest the writings of a fella named Donald Black. He has a very good work called "The Geometry of Terrorism". Another person some might get some insights from is a guy named Corlett (I think). Just search on Corlett and terrorism.

There is much to admire in a man like Mandela, especially later in life. However, early on he was also involved in bombing campaigns against the government. And while the government certainly was oppressive and revolt against such a government is certainly understandable, it isn't quite so easy to discount the loss of life of innocents. And defining terrorism in a case like this goes back to my old professor's comment. Sometimes a simple word like terrorism contains much too much baggage to be helpful. And often when we speak of individuals who have led long and complex lives, well sometimes it is even more difficult to speak objectively when the person in question can be both idolized and hated for different acts.

Okay, no need for the fireproof underwear, I'm on vacation and logging out...

Seriously, there are some good books out there. Donald Black in particular is a good resource.

graham christian
07-29-2013, 09:10 PM
In a world of darkness...a shining light.